Ed: This is two days late, but we’re running it anyway because it was a huge game. Carl got a concussion and normally we’d make fun of him for this but we’re just glad he’s ok.
The USF Men’s Soccer team fell to the fifth ranked Clemson Tigers 1-0 in overtime on Tuesday night in Corbett Soccer Stadium.
The four-game winning streak, including a 2-1 win over UCF on Saturday after the big football game, came to an end with a stinging OT loss that saw USF command most of the game. The Bulls kept Clemson off their game for a good 80 minutes, only letting up pressure on the Tigers late in each half.
Christian Knight remained in net for the second straight game as Spasoje Stefanovic remained sidelined with a neck injury, and made an absolutely incredible save late in the game (though the chance itself would be called offside). Nazeem Bartman had a gift-wrapped chance very early in the match, picking off a back pass at the top of the box, but rushed his shot as missed the net.
USF commanded the midfield for most of the game, playing back and finding long balls down the wings. Shots ended up tied 8-8 at the end of regulation after USF out-shot Clemson 7-1 in the first half, but had chances in the second half. Notably, Marcus Epps sent a ball right across the face of goal late in the game that Melvin Becket just missed the connection on.
The referee of the match let the cards fly early and often. USF was booked three times, Gonzalo Rodriguez at 9’, Jonathan Rosales at 24’ and Liam McNally at 65’. Clemson was also booked twice.
This loss hurt. USF was clearly prepared for Clemson and had the perfect gameplan for keeping them off their game. They, unfortunately, ran out of steam by the end of regulation, and Clemson capitalized. However, it was still an excellent showing by USF and shows that they’re back and ready to contend for the conference title, as they were expected to do at the beginning of the year.
The Bulls return to action at Cincinnati this Saturday at 3 p.m.